Copper had lulled himself into thinking his brother had moved on to better topics, but apparently not. The fearless leader of the dragon clan was more interested in gossiping about his younger brother's love life than freeing Mercury from his curse or making sure the clan stayed safe in case there happened to be another warlock attack.
Just because Mercury had made a deal with those devils didn't mean they were entirely safe from the consequences of his actions.
Copper still wasn't completely sold on the idea that Mercury had negotiated his servitude well enough that the warlocks couldn't simply decide to make him kill everyone in their sleep.
In facet Copper had taken to sleeping in the attic, all doors locked, and in the bed he was supposed to be sleeping in was a set of blankets and pillows beneath the original blanket, just to give him a heads-up in case his friend was suddenly overtaken by an evil spell and sent to kill everyone in the clan without his knowledge or consent.
"You know, when I was with Tim, he and I didn't get along so well in the beginning either."
"Good for you."
Jamie was totally ignoring him. The man had to know Copper was looking at him, glaring at him, and he wasn't doing anything about it. Just smiling and chatting away.
He knew Copper was looking at him, and he was ignoring him on purpose just so he could keep irritating him.
"It's possible that this anger you feel for him is a mask for something else."
"I want to fuck him. I already know that."
Copper wasn't looking at either his brother or the new guy in the clan, but he didn't need to be looking at them either. He could already feel their eyes on him and the tension in the air around them.
"Oh." Rhody started to laugh. "Well, so long as you know what you're looking for."
Lightning sounded a little more confused about the whole thing. "If you already know you want to mate with him, then why are you torturing yourself like this?"
That question really did catch Copper off guard. If he'd been drinking anything, he might have snorted it out of his nose.
"What?" Copper looked at the man, because clearly this guy was a complete fool. "Uh, no. I don't want to mate with him. He'd just a…I just want to get this out of my system."
Lightning lifted a brow at him. "You want to hate-fuck the man?"
Copper rubbed his face, groaning. "You asshole, no. I do not want to hate-fuck him. I just want to get him out of my system, and since this isn't a girlfriends’ chat over tea, I am done with the both of you."
Copper got up. He wasn't about to talk about what he did and did not want from a lover with his brother and the new guy.
Not with Jamie standing over there, ignoring him as he chatted it up with Scott, Doug, and Lightning's mate, Tim.
"Copper, this isn't something I'm going to have to worry about later on, is it?"
Copper ignored his brother. The man could be such a damned hen sometimes it was insufferable.
Copper sent one last growl Jamie's way as he walked off, and unlike the last ten times Copper had growled at him, this time Jamie did look at him.
Copper stopped in his tracks, staring back at the man.
What was he doing? Jamie had finally noticed Copper, and now Copper didn't know what to do about it.
Jamie winked at him, and the man actually…
No fucking way. Heat rose up Copper's neck and settled into his cheeks. He growled again, turning away from the smaller man, his fists clenched tight as he marched back to his house. Copper slammed the door behind him and nearly took the damned thing off its hinges.
Jamie had actually made a kissing motion at him.
The little bastard had heard what Lightning and Rhody had been saying to Copper, and he'd definitely done that on purpose.
Because he was a bastard who, for some reason, still had yet to be put in his place.
Copper punched the wall in his living room. He cursed a storm, and no matter what he said, or did, no matter how many holes he punched into the wall in the hallway, he couldn't get that irritation to settle.
Jamie knew what was going on, and the little bastard was using it to his advantage.
It was kind of devious, and smart, in a weird way.
Copper finished redecorating the wall, and he pressed his forehead to what was left of the drywall.
If only so he could breathe.
There had been a time when Jamie had been inside of these very walls. When he had still been too new to the clan, and not enough of the houses had been repaired, Rhody had commanded Copper open up his spare bedroom to the other man.
And that was the thing that, at this moment, was becoming Copper's undoing.
Because even a full two weeks after Jamie had moved out and into one of the smaller abandoned homes, Copper could still smell the man in here. He could almost hear Jamie walking around and could close his eyes and see the little annoying smile on his face.
Jamie had learned quickly how to push every single one of Copper's buttons, and the man had taken much pleasure in tormenting Copper as much as possible.
Copper had hated it. He didn't want the little prick to get the better of him, and he hadn't liked being teased.
Jamie was gone now. Not gone from the clan, but Copper didn't have to wake up every day and see the man. He didn't have to care if he locked the doors at night and forgot that Jamie hadn't come home yet.
Copper finally had his small home all to himself once more, and despite that, he wasn't satisfied.
Copper sighed. He pulled himself away from the wall and wandered down the hall, but he didn't go to his own bedroom. Instead, he went to the guest room.
The couch was still folded out into a bed. Copper hadn't put everything away since Jamie had left, and the sheets were still there. He'd made the bed, but that was the most he'd done with it all.
Because, for some reason, Copper couldn't make himself put everything away.
He plopped himself down onto the bed, rolled over so his face was pressed into the pillow that Jamie had slept on, and breathed in deep.
So good. It smelled so wonderful, so good. He almost didn't know what to do with that feeling.
Jamie pulled himself out of bed. He rushed to the front door to check. He couldn't remember whether he had or not, and Copper had said he wouldn't bother if Jamie locked his door.
He checked the door, and to his increasing annoyance, it was unlocked.
Jamie's wings burst out from his back, hard and fast, the sound a popping noise as his skin broke, and now that he was beyond furious, Jamie yanked the door open and stormed out.
He marched to Copper's front door. He was going to get an answer for this, and he didn't care if he was the smaller dragon between the two of them. Jamie was going to do everything possible to make Copper pay for that kind of cruel trick.
He banged his fist on the door. He wanted to punch through it, but he wasn't strong enough, and he only ended up hurting his fist as he tried to make himself known.
Jamie banged again.
"Come out here!"
The lights were off. Christ, had the man gone to bed? The thought alone was enough to stir more irritation with him, more hot rage that pulsed in his veins like a wild animal desperate to escape and tear everything apart in its way.
Jamie banged again, and the door suddenly opened, a nice and easy reveal, as though the other man didn't have a reason to be concerned.
In fact, Copper stood there shirtless, wearing a pair of joggers loose enough that they hung low around his hips, accenting the V shape of his pelvis perfectly.
And Jamie was a sucker for that V shape. He lived and breathed for it, and Copper's was perfect.
Copper leaned against the doorframe, still smiling like a cat as he crossed his arms. "I was wondering when you would get over here."
"Me?" Jamie damn near blew up on the man. "You're the one who wanted to—"
Anything else he would have said was cut off immediately by the sudden kiss Copper thrust onto him. The taller man grabbed Jamie around the back of his head and neck, yanking their mouths together, the kiss crushing, and then it was pleasurable. The heat of the man's tongue against Jamie's lips coerced his mouth open. He didn't even think about it. It was as though he was overcome by some instinct that refused to be ignored.
An instinct that demanded obedience.
And Jamie obeyed. Much as he didn't want it, that melty feeling returned with a vengeance to Jamie's body, and he moaned as he opened his lips, moaning and shivering again when their tongues slid hot and wet together, as though saying hello.
The taste of the other man was unlike anything Jamie had ever experienced before in his entire life. Not that he'd kissed many people, but there was something massively different about this. Something that made his blood pulse hot through his veins, his cock stand at attention as though it had never known the touch of another person before, and an eagerness within him that was unmatched by anything he'd ever felt before in his life.
Jamie suddenly found himself grabbing onto the other man because he needed that steady strength to keep himself on his feet. If Jamie didn't hang on to Copper's shoulders, then he was going to collapse.
No. No, Jamie was not going to let himself be undone like this. Fuck that. He was in just as much control here as Copper was, and he was going to fucking prove it.
Jamie pushed against Copper's chest, shoving the man backward into his house. He felt the smile in Copper's lips, and he knew for a fact that if the other man really wanted to, he could have kept Jamie out. He didn't have to let Jamie take this kind of control over him.
And yet he was. Maybe he liked it. Jamie hoped he did because there was no way in hell he was going to suddenly stop trying to take control over the man.
Copper kicked the door shut behind him, as though he knew exactly where this was going. The heat of his skin was intense. A little damp as well. Had he just finished showering?
Jamie needed to kiss that skin. He pulled his mouth away from Copper's lips so he could press his mouth to the man's perfect chest.
Copper breathed heavily, signaling that he was definitely into this.
Good. Jamie was glad, especially when he put his mouth around the man's nipple, sucking then biting with his teeth.
Copper hissed, pulling back.
Jamie grinned up at him. "What?"
Because Jamie had been sitting in the dark for so long, he was able to clearly see the expression on Copper's face. He was a little shocked, clearly.
"You're a biter, are you?"
Jamie couldn't keep his hands off the man's chest. As though it were a gift he needed to stroke. "Only for as long as you want me to be."
Jamie inhaled deeply through his nose. He could smell the man's musk. A quick glance down showed just how much Copper wanted this.
Christ, if that tenting shape was anything to go by, then Jamie was going to have to make sure the other man took it slow with him because he was huge.
"Only if I want you to be, hmm?" Copper's large hands slid down to the hem of Jamie's T-shirt.
He started pulling it up and over Jamie's head. Jamie lifted his arms, making it easier on the man. When he was free of the cotton, he felt as though he could breathe a little easier once more, but that feeling only lasted for a second as Jamie became overheated very quickly once again.
"What if I want to bite you?" Copper asked.
Jamie grinned. "Then you can. Just so long as you're not into some weird blood play or hardcore pain. If you are, let me know right now and I'll get out of here."
Copper snorted, and it looked almost as though he were trying to hold back a laugh while staring at Jamie as though he were the craziest man on the planet. "God, you're weird."
"What?" Jamie legitimately didn't understand. "I'm just trying to keep myself safe here."
Copper shook his head, as though he still didn't entirely understand what was going on inside of Jamie's head, but then they were kissing again, and no more thoughts needed to be had because this was about as much as Jamie needed.
Nope. Nope, he was wrong about that. Copper's hand slid down between Jamie's legs, giving just the right about of grip before the man stroked him through his cotton pajama pants.
And fuck, that was good. Copper swallowed down Jamie's moan, and it was almost too much for him to take. The pleasure. The sudden rush that made him want to come in his pants right then and there, and who fucking cared who happened to see it?